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DLM1628 Historical photos of the construction of North Sterling Reservoir near Sterling, Colo. Wed., June 27, 2007. The following summary is taken from the irrigation district's record book. 1907 - One hundred years ago, the North Sterling Irrigation District was organized by order of the Board of County Commissioners Feb. 25, 1907. On June 12, 1907, The North Sterling Irrigation District entered into an agreement with the Sterling Promotion and Irrigation Co. to purchase all rights, titles, interest and franchises for the reservoir system for the sum of $50,000 in bonds. At a special election on July 27, 1907, the landowners approved a bond for $1,350,000. 1908 - On June 15, 1908, an agreement was made with the Empire Construction Co. to re-survey the entire project, prepare plans and specifications, and make estimates. After surveying, the Empire Co. estimated the cost at about $1,835,000 and placed the construction period at about 18 months. 1909 - A call for bids was issued and three were submitted. The Empire Construction Co. was awarded the contract April 9, 1909, for $1,689,375, plus rock work and toe wall, estimated at $115,675 additional. On May 7, 1909, the contract was unanimously approved by voters in the district. 1909-1911 - The North Sterling Irrigation District purchased the necessary rights-of-way and the work under this contract proceeded. The 60.45 mile-long inlet canal for the reservoir which brings in water from the South Platte River was dug by hand and horse cart. All the earthwork was completed with horse and mule drawn wagons and equipment, with as many as 1,500 head of horses and mules used on any given day. Timekeeper Marten Bedford wrote: "On the job work moved merrily on, the excavators moving back and forth at right angles to the fill, it took about 15 seconds to fill a dump bed, then the 16 horse team stopped, a few seconds later another dump bed was in place. Usually 20 dump wagons to one excavator..." Cement mixers and pi

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